Facebook Rolls Out December 2010 Profile Redesign to All Users

Today Facebook began forcibly migrating users to the profile redesign which was launched as an optional upgrade on December 6th, 2010. The redesign puts more focus on a user’s profile information such as their work, current city, and relationship status, and displays recently tagged photos, family members, and selected Groups or friend lists on the profile’s default landing tab. A minority of users have been protesting the redesign and refusing to upgrade on the grounds that the recently tagged photos panel gives friends too much power over what is displayed on their profile, but they will have to grow to accept it.

When Facebook first released the redesign, it was opt-in. Users could press a “Get the New Profile” button on the profile of a friend who had upgraded, or from the new profile’s introduction page. Later, Facebook began showing prompts to upgrade on the home page. There was no way to revert to the old profile design once one had upgraded. While a few users initially complained, which is standard when there is any change to the Facebook interface, enough users upgraded voluntarily and there wasn’t significant sustained protest to dissuade Facebook from a full rollout.

Starting today, any users who’ve yet to upgrade will be migrated to the redesign. There is no option to prevent this, which will likely disgruntle members of the small protest groups including “No to the new FB profile layout” and “New Facebook Profile Sucks.” Users often protest not because they have specific concerns with changes, but simply because they’ve grown familiar with one layout and don’t wish to acclimate to a new one. Facebook has learned to expect these complaints, diffuse the anger through gradual rollouts, and to only backtrack if the company agrees there is a real problem after careful consideration.

In our opinion, the profile redesign is good for users. It makes visiting a new friend or potential friend’s profile a more similar experience to a real-life introduction. Users get to see how the person currently looks thanks to the recently tagged photos panel, learn the answers to commonly asked questions like “Where did you grow up?” from the profile info summary, and figure out what interests they have in common through the friendship preview. The redesign also promotes accuracy of profile info by making this info so prominent, while users often forgot to update their work or current city for years at a time with the old design.

The redesigned profile isn’t perfect, and will likely continue to be updated with time. A warning that the members of a friend list added to the Featured People section will be notified of their inclusion in the list could prevent some interpersonal drama. Users who’ve been friends for a long time likely know all of each other’s biographical info, and are more interested in the content of a friend’s wall, which has been pushed down in the redesign. Facebook allows users to hide photos from their recently tagged photos panel, but some users might wish they hadn’t hidden a photo they at first thought was unflattering. Facebook included an “Unhide all” button to the profile editor to fix this.

By guiding users towards giving a more accurate and realistic impression of themselves through the profile, Facebook has succeeded with this redesign. Similar to the news feed, it will just take some time to get used to.

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7 Responses to “Facebook Rolls Out December 2010 Profile Redesign to All Users”

  1. How To Keep Facebook From Humiliating You Today | Defamer Australia says:

    [...] new profiles aggregate a lightning summary of who you are at the top of your profile page: Where you work, where you went to school, where you live, who your [...]

  2. FB User says:

    it’s better for marketers, sure. in protest I’m deleting all of the juicy marketing info about me.

    my friends do not need to know where I live, what my school was, or where I’m employed.

    They want to know about me.. my daily life. my updates and information. This is a typical misguided/uneducated approach by Facebook engineers who apparently don’t know that what matters is connectivity, not making Facebook look like a dating site/myspace/linkedin.

  3. tania tun says:

    on my facebook page i have problem chatting with my friends it does not foword the message

  4. Steve says:

    I don’t know of any other website service, user system etc that constantly redesigns itself over and over again. It’s great that things are changing, but the changes are not flexible, and there is something to be said for constancy.

    Can you really not understand why people just want to get used to something and not having it moving from under their feet all the time?!

  5. Darkis says:

    Facebook:

    New profile?
    You do not have to force people to have something that: they do not want.
    When you are going to understand?

  6. Marie says:

    Facebook is plotting its own demise. I can see it following the same trajectory as MySpace, which, for all practical purposes, is dead.

    I tried the new FB profile option thinking that I could revert. Nope. I didn’t complain because, based on past experience, it appears complaining to FB is futile. Certainly there are always going to be chronic complainers, but if you’re not surveying your consumers to see what they really want, you will ultimately fail.

    There are several changes, such as the apparent disappearance of Events pages, that are making using FB more difficult to use and less interactive.

    It is clear that all FB changes are merely for the sake of marketers. That’s lovely in keeping FB free to users, but if you don’t have what users want, marketers won’t get anything out it either.

    If FB continues to make significant changes that are not perceived as improvements, its end will come as a bang, not a whimper.

  7. srinin says:

    Facebook’s profile summary is a mess.
    I am a qualified professional management accountant but it lists my education as just a commerce graduate.
    I dont to complain to Facebook because it is one of the most user unfriendly network around!
    Wd have stopped using it but for having so many good friends I made there!

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